Thursday, June 27

Youth Serve Notice at AT&T National

By Matthew Wurzburger

Ben Kohles
TONIGHT THE EYES OF THE BASKETBALL community are focused on Brooklyn, New York, for the 2013 NBA Draft. Draft night belongs to the next wave of talented players entering the league; young players who represent the future of the sport.

Earlier today, at Congressional Country Club some 230 miles south of Brooklyn, the day also belonged to the next wave of talent, a more youthful side of the PGA Tour.

With round one of the AT&T National complete, the upper echelon of the leaderboard is peppered with players who are only a few years removed from college. Billy Horschel, 26, a University of Florida product, and 23-year-old Bud Cauley of University of Alabama are tied for second place two strokes behind Roberto Castro’s five-under performance.

Two other youngsters shot opening-round 69s and are tied with six other players for fifth place. Ben Kohles, 23, from University of Virginia and Russell Henley, 24, from University of Georgia are three strokes behind Castro.

Congressional did not treat the players with kid gloves. It was tough out there. The damp conditions made the greens very soft, and also killed the roll in the fairway making the course play even longer than advertised. “The greens are very receptive,” said Kohles. “Then again, the fairways are too, so it is playing pretty long out there.”

In both golf and basketball, today has been a look at the future. As current stars age and fade out, a void will be left at the top of the sport. Do not be surprised if the talented young players currently at the top of the AT&T National leaderboard are among the game’s next stars.

Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.

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